Peace Treaty of 3 September 1783

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Peace Treaty of 3 September 1783

PEACE TREATY OF 3 SEPTEMBER 1783. After the peace negotiations that started in 1781, the treaty was signed in Paris on 3 September. The nine articles may be summarized as follows: (1) U.S. independence was recognized by Great Britain; (2) the U.S. boundaries were established as the St. Croix River between Maine and Nova Scotia, the St. Lawrence-Atlantic watershed, the forty-fifth parallel, a line through the Great Lakes westward to the Mississippi and down that river to the thirty-first parallel, eastward along that parallel, and the Apalachicola and St. Mary's Rivers to the Atlantic; (3) the United States obtained the "right" to fish off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and the "liberty" to cure their fish on unsettled beaches of Labrador, the Magdalen Islands, and Nova Scotia; (4) creditors of each country were to be paid by citizens of the other; (5) Congress would "earnestly recommend" that states fully restore the rights and property of Loyalists; (6) no future action would be taken against any person for his or her actions during the war just ended; (7) hostilities were to end and all British forces were to be evacuated "with all convenient speed"; (8) navigation of the Mississippi "from its source to the ocean shall forever remain free" to U.S. and British citizens; and (9) conquests made by either country from the other before the arrival of the peace terms would be restored.

The treaty was ratified by Congress on 14 January 1784, and on 12 May ratifications were exchanged to complete the action. Jay's Treaty of 1794 and Pinckney's Treaty of 1795 ended many U.S. difficulties with, respectively, Britain and Spain that arose from the treaty.

SEE ALSO Jay's Treaty; Peace Negotiations; Spanish Participation in the American Revolution.


Dull, Jonathan R. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles